A recent British Medical Journal addressed the issue of whether doctors have an obligation not only to tell each other about potential conflicts of interest, but also their patients.
This applies to compensation received from drug and medical device companies, as well as to larger issues of payment--for example, whether the doctor is paid fee-for-service and therefore paid more to do more.
A few colleagues (including Costs of Care Founder Neel Shah) and I started the Who's My Doctor campaign as a first step towards transparency and accountability: http://whosmydoctor.com/. We believe that being honest with our patients improves trust, and strengthens the patient-provider relationship.
What do you think? Do patients have a right to know how their doctors are paid? How should this information be communicated?